Rt. Rev. William H. Folwell

The Rt. Rev. William H. Folwell died peacefully on February 7, 2022.  Born on October 26, 1924 in Port Washington, NY to Ralph Taylor Folwell and Sarah Ewing Hopkins, he spent his youth in Miami, Florida.  Bill had a beautiful tenor singing voice and was active in musical theater and choral guilds throughout his life. He served as a Civil Engineer Corps Officer with the Navy during World War II and graduated from Georgia Tech in civil engineering.  Bill met his wife, Christine, through their mutual involvement in vocal music.  They moved to Evanston, IL where Bill attended Seabury Western Theological Seminary.  He was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1952.  In 1970, he was consecrated Bishop of Central Florida, where he served until 1989.  He has lived in Hendersonville, NC since retiring.

Bill had a self-deprecating and wry sense of humor, with a gift for creating community, and a dedication to servant leadership.  As rector of All Saints Episcopal Church, he oversaw the restructuring committee to create three new dioceses in Florida.   An abiding sense of concern for the poor, marginalized and oppressed animated Bill to be a voice for justice during his fifty plus years in the Episcopal House of Bishops.  Perhaps his most important vote in the House was his support of the Ordination of Women to the priesthood and episcopacy and his later support of gay clergy.  In the 1990’s Bill was actively involved in the establishment of La Capilla de Santa Maria, the first Spanish-speaking parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina.

He is preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Christine E. Folwell and survived by his sister, Eleanor Trafton, three children: Ann Folwell Stanford (Marisa Alicea), Mark Thomas Folwell (Kathy), and Susan Elizabeth Folwell, 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, February 11, 2022 at St. James Episcopal Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to St. James Episcopal Church, Hendersonville, or the Hendersonville Rescue Mission.



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